Fall Pilots Preview: The Secret Circle
(With a little over a month until the fall’s crop of new shows hits, now seems like a good a time to start previewing all of the new network offerings. As I’m not a professional critic, I don’t get access to all of the nice, shiny screeners that the pros do, so I’m basing my opinions somewhat on their thoughts as well as on teaser clips that the networks have released. These are very rough thoughts that could very well change once I’ve seen a full pilot. With that in mind, onto the preview.)
The Secret Circle
Who: Stars Britt Robertson (Life Unexpected), Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Gale Harold (Desperate Housewives), and Natasha Henstridge (Species).
Where: The CW
When: Thursdays at 9:00 PM (Premieres September 15)
What: The CW’s description via The Futon Critic: Cassie Blake was a happy, normal teenage girl – until her mother Amelia dies in what appears to be a tragic accidental fire. Orphaned and deeply saddened, Cassie moves in with her warm and loving grandmother Jane in the beautiful small town of Chance Harbor, Washington – the town her mother left so many years before – where the residents seem to know more about Cassie than she does about herself. As Cassie gets to know her high school classmates, including sweet-natured Diana and her handsome boyfriend Adam, brooding loner Nick, mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa, strange and frightening things begin to happen. When her new friends explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they’ve been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of the Secret Circle, Cassie refuses to believe them – until Adam shows her how to unlock her incredible magical powers. But it’s not until Cassie discovers a message from her mother in an old leather-bound book of spells hidden in her mother’s childhood bedroom, that she understands her true and dangerous destiny. What Cassie and the others don’t yet know is that darker powers are at play, powers that might be linked to the adults in the town, including Diana’s father and Faye’s mother – and that Cassie’s mother’s death might not have been an accident. The series stars Britt Robertson as Cassie Blake, Thomas Dekker as Adam Conant, Gale Harold as Charles Meade, Phoebe Tonkin as Fay Chamberlain, Jessica Parker Kennedy as Melissa, Shelley Hennig as Diana Meade, Louis Hunter as Nick, Ashley Crow as Jane Blake and Natasha Henstridge as Dawn Chamberlain. Based upon the book series by L.J. Smith (author of The Vampire Diaries book series), The Secret Circle is from Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Scream, Dawson’s Creek), Andrew Miller (Imaginary Bitches), Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl) and Gina Girolamo. Elizabeth Craft (The Vampire Diaries, Lie to Me) & Sarah Fain (The Vampire Diaries, Lie to Me) were executive producers on the pilot which was directed by Liz Friedlander (The Vampire Diaries, 90210).”
Jeremy Likes TV’s Thoughts: This is the third series in three years (after Supernatural and Nikita) that The CW has attempted to pair with its biggest hit, The Vampire Diaries so clearly the network is hoping that the third time is the charm. Commissioning a series based on a novel series by the same author responsible for The Vampire Diaries and then hiring most of the creative staff of The Vampire Diaries (as is evident from the above network description) definitely seems to be a recipe for success. As an avowed fan of The Vampire Diaries, I will definitely be giving this show a long look although with witches being much less a part of the current zeitgeist it remains to be seen if The Secret Circle will experience the same immediate success as The Vampire Diaries did upon its premiere in 2009. That said, this is clearly the most compatible partner that show has seen yet.
Chances It Gets A Full Season: 98%
Recommendation: Thumbs up, particularly if you’re a Vampire Diaries fan , as that show evolved from a guilty pleasure to one of the most entertaining series on television. The Secret Circle, at least based on its trailer, looks to be squarely in the guilty pleasure category but for right now? That’s enough.
 And if you’re not, why aren’t you? It’s at #7 in our most recent power rankings.